Farmers in Huangzhu village in Dengmai county of Hainan province stack bunches of bananas on Wednesday. Taobao and supermarkets have launched a campaign to help the farmers. Huang Yiming / China Daily
Though they knew it was a buy-one-get-one-free deal, Chen Guo and her colleague, who each paid 6.8 yuan ($1) for a bunch of bananas on the group-buying platform of, still felt surprised when they were given a whole box of bananas.
"The sales assistant said one banana ticket is for half a box, so the two of us got a whole box," Chen said, adding that it required some effort to get the 12-kilogram box back to the office.
"The bananas are good and sweet though," said the 25-year-old magazine editor, who picked up her bananas at Huashang Century Mart in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Friday.
Chen was just one of the netizens who altogether bought 30,116 bunches of bananas within nine hours on July 8, during the first round of Jujiaoxingdong, or Action Focusing on Bananas, a joint effort by and Hangzhou Lianhua Huashang Group Co Ltd.
A new round of Jujiaoxingdong was launched on Friday. This time supermarket chains such as Jianmart, Lotus, A.Best, Wushang and Carrefour have joined Century Mart and The supermarkets are offering pick-up services in eight cities around the country starting from July 22.
By press time on Friday, more than 45,000 bunches of banana had been ordered by netizens at
Juhuasuan, the group buying platform of, initiated the online campaign to boost banana sales after the bitter stories of Hainan banana growers aroused the sympathy of people around the country.
"This is the gravest crisis I’ve experienced in my 14 years in the business," said Zeng Xiangbo, a Hubei native who started growing bananas in Hainan province in 1997.
Running a medium-sized banana farm measuring 133 hectares, Zeng said he will lose 2 million yuan, a third of his investment this year.
"If the price falls below 0.8 yuan a kilogram, it is pointless to pick them," Zeng said.
The price of bananas reached 7.8 yuan per kg two months ago, but it has fallen drastically since early June, at one point dropping to 0.4 yuan per kg.
Cui Yongxin, 56, a Guangdong native who started growing bananas in Hainan in 2005 and who is supplying bananas to the Jujiaoxingdong campaign, said he received 1 yuan per kg for the 48,000 kg he sold on Thursday.
Shao Shiwen, a banana grower for 18 years and a former president of Hainan’s banana growers association, said about 95 percent of the farmers are losing money this year.
Zhang Jian, director of the market and information department of Hainan province’s agricultural bureau, suggested that oversupply is the main reason for the price drop. Many farmers increased the size of their plantations in the past two years as prices rose, but a cold winter last year led to a delayed harvest of spring bananas, which overlapped with the summer harvest. There have also been reports of some Hainan farmers using the plant hormone ethephon, which frightened some customers away.
Hainan TV reported the grave situation in June and launched a micro blog calling for netizens to aid the island’s banana growers, which attracted nationwide attention.
In early July, the Ministry of Commerce also took measures with local agricultural and commercial sectors to help ease the problems. Government departments urged a better information service, and encouraged large enterprises to purchase more bananas for storage and to promote retail sales.
SOURCE: China Daily
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